IN a council where the general manager, all four heads of department, and seven of nine councillors are men, Monica Morse and Jacqui Rudge are making sure women have a voice in local government matters.
Cr Morse was elected to Bathurst Regional Council in 2008 and has served three consecutive terms, which included one year as mayor.
A new recruit, Cr Rudge was elected in 2017 and hopes to earn a second term at the next local government election in September.
Both councillors understand the important role they play as the only female councillors, taking on the task of representing around 50 per cent of the city's population.
Cr Rudge admits it has been a difficult journey for her on council, but says it's not because she is a woman.
Rather, it was challenging being a new face in a team of of councillors who had been working together for several terms already, and she struggled to find her feet.
"I found that mentoring would have helped me - I had no mentoring," she said.
"I just sort of went in cold and learnt on the job. It would have been a lot easier had we had some sort of mentoring program to welcome new people into council.
"I guess that's been part of the problem, is trying to work my way through learning a lot of things that I really had to find out for myself and I found that rather difficult at times."
But, despite the challenges, Cr Rudge is proud of what she has been able to achieve on council and she wants to continue in her role.
Both she and Cr Morse are also hoping to see more women come forward as candidates in the next election.
Cr Morse, who for five years was the only female councillor in Bathurst, Blayney and Orange, said she wants to see at least three women elected to Bathurst council in September.
"You have to have women who are known in the community to stand for council and I've been trying to encourage women - we've got lots of very, very competent, capable, efficient women in Bathurst - to stand for council because they can contribute a great deal," she said.
"But I think the problem is a lot of women feel it's a very blokey atmosphere and a lot of women don't want to be in that blokey atmosphere, so I'm trying to persuade them that if you're going to change that atmosphere you have to stand."
Her advice to women considering running for council is to make sure they are known to the public and show people how they've contributed to Bathurst.
Should they be elected, Cr Rudge said they need to be good listeners, remain objective and have confidence in their own opinions.
"Stay true to yourself and stick to your guns," she said.
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